- 1 History
- 2 Appearances
- 3 The Laws of the Idol
- 4 Trivia
- 5 References
Shiriki Utundu's name means "Believe the misfortune" and according to legend, is said to be possessed by the spirit of an old shaman.
According to Kibwana, the son to the Mtundu chief, Kijanji, sixty to seventy years ago, the Mtundu were a tribe of thieves and vagabonds. They were so disliked by their neighbors that they were forced off their land by the Kokoko tribe. As the Mtundu migrated, they learned of a wealthy tribe with a powerful idol. Kijanji's grandfather got an idea and, during the night, snuck into the village and stole the idol. The fortune of the Mtundu changed afterwards, and the grandfather demanded tributes from other tribes. He then learned how the magic of the idol worked and planned to get revenge on the Kokoko.
He proceeded to pound nails into the idol's head and chanted an incantation, causing the idol to come to life and disappear into the night, scaring the Mtundu. The next morning, the tribe awakened to find the idol had returned, blood dripping from its weapons. A few weeks later, they learned the Kokoko tribe and their village had indeed been destroyed.
Feeling guilty for what they had done, the grandfather tried to get rid of the idol by throwing it into a river. Before he could, though, the idol came alive again and zapped him with green energy, causing him to disappear. He returned a week later, claiming to have been sent to a jungle, in a permanent night, full of leeches and snakes, where he was forced to face death again and again. The idol was teaching him a lesson.
In 1899, Harrison Hightower III came across the Mtundu tribe while on a Congo expedition and learned of the idol. At first, Hightower offered to purchase the idol from the tribe. When they refused, he decided to take it by force. Strangely, it was almost as if the Mtundu let them take it.
As the expedition continued, Hightower mounted the idol to the tip of his canoe, and each tribe that saw the idol showered Hightower with gifts, though it seemed to be out of fear for the idol. When he returned to New York, Hightower intended to keep the idol in his penthouse suite of his Hotel where he lived. Only Hightower's manservant, Smelding, seemed to understand the power sleeping the Shiriki Utundu and endeavored to keep the spirit within placated by treating it with respect.
Later on in the year, Harrison took the idol to a meeting for the Society of Explorers and Adventurers which Harrison was a member of. The meeting is presumed to have taken place at Mystic Point and involved Lord Henry Mystic, Captain Mary Oceaneer, Dr. J. L. Baterista, Professor R. Blauerhimmel, and three other S.E.A. members.
On the New Year's Eve, 1899, Hightower disrespected the totem by using it to extinguish his cigar, despite Smelding's warnings. This caused the idol to awaken and let loose a surge of magic, making the hotel's elevator to fall and seemingly blasting Hightower from the face of the Earth; it is said Hightower's ghost still roams the hotel, trapped and doomed to be tormented by the idol for eternity.
For years to come after the incident, Shiriki Utundu roamed the hotel in order to terrorize mortals who come to visit the hotel due to the New York Preservation society having named it a historic landmark.
Tower or Terror
Shiriki Utundu is first seen in the attraction's pre-show, sitting on a pedestal next to a stained glass portrait of Harrison Hightower. When the gramophone plays a recording of Hightower's final press conference, the lights go out, and the portrait changes - now the idol is in the portrait, as well. Hightower warns the guests that the curse is real, and Shiriki Utundu's eyes glow, changing the scene to the elevator. It rises to the top of the tower, then crashes down to the bottom floor. The idol's eyes glow, and it comes to life. It looks around at the guests and laughs, before it suddenly vanishes.
When the guests board the elevator, its laughter is heard, again. His eyes can be seen, before the elevator ascends. The doors open, revealing the idol standing on a pedestal. Hightower goes up to it, and it zaps him, throwing him down the elevator shaft. The scene fades into a star field, and it turns to the guests, with his eyes glowing. It laughs once more, as the elevator doors close.
On the next floor, the guests wave goodbye to the real world at a mirror. The scene turns green, and Shriki Utundu appears, once more. It laughs at the guest, and its eyes glow, shaking the elevator and starting the drop sequence. Before the guests disembark, it laughs one more time.
Tower of Terror: The Mystery
Shiriki Utundu is a main character in the promotional film Tower of Terror: The Mystery. It appears several times throughout the film. During Hightower's press conference, based on the scene from the attraction, it was sitting on his desk. It is seen, again, during the New Years Eve party. Hightower's manservant, Smelding, warned him to treat the idol with respect. Hightower laughed and put out his cigar on his head. Manfred Strang, the film's narrator, believed that this was the moment that sealed Hightower's fate. Shiriki Utundu opened its eyes and possessed the elevator, making it drop down all thirteen stories. When Smelding and Manfred checked the elevator, Hightower was gone. Only Shiriki Utundu remained.
Level 13: Shadow of Shiriki Utundu
Shiriki Utundu is the main character of the special overlay of Tower of Terror that ran January 5th through March 20th, 2018. The attraction remained the same, with minor differences.
- During the pre-show, after the idol disappeared, it flew across the stained glass portrait
- A new room with a "void" shows Shiriki Utundu's face, which flies towards the elevator
- A projection of Shiriki Utundu is seen in the elevator shaft, cutting the cables before a drop
Aunty's Beach House (Disney's Aulani Resort)
In a letter from the Adventurer's Club president, Pamela Perkins it is mentioned how Harrison first heard about the idol. It is said he first heard of it during his time in the Pillager's Brigade.
Shiriki Utundu makes a cameo in a portrait in Mystic Manor where it is shown in the arms of Harrison Hightower III.
There is a menu at this restaurant known as the Shiriki Noodle soup. It is mentioned as having been served at the Hotel Hightower on the night of Harrison's disappearance.
The Laws of the Idol
Those who possess the idol must follow a number of rules.
- Always treat it with respect.
- Do not have it close to fire.
- It must not be wrapped up, buried or confined in a small building.
- It must never be thrown or given away.
- Beware its eyes.
- It was voiced by Richard Steven Horvitz, the voice of Billy from The Grim Adventures of Billy and Mandy, Dagget Beaver in Angry Beavers, and Zim from Invader Zim.